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Haley Bennett (Cyrano, Swallow, The Girl On The Train) is set to lead Night and Day, Justine Waddell’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, to be directed by BAFTA nominee Tina Gharavi (I Am Nasrine, Cleopatra: African Queens). WestEnd Films has boarded the the German-Irish-U.K. co-production and is introducing the project to buyers in Cannes.
Set in an era when glass ceilings were made of concrete, Bennett will play Katharine Hilbery — one woman who insisted on reaching for the stars. Based on what has been called Woolf’s funniest novel, Night and Day is described as an “unromantic comedy” about a passionate astronomer who does everything she can to avoid romantic love and marriage. Contemporary in tone, the story of Katharine’s bold challenge to the Edwardian patriarchy is set against the backdrop of the suffragette movement and advances in science and technology, at the turn of the 20th century.
German star Elyas M’Barek (Suck Me Shakespeer, This Crazy Heart) makes his English-language debut as love interest Ralph, and the cast is rounded out by a host of British stars, including BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall (The Kings’ Speech, Secrets and Lies, the Harry Potter Franchise) and Jack Farthing (Spencer, The Lost Daughter, HBO’s Rain Dogs).
“Virginia Woolf observes society so brilliantly,” said Gharavi. “She has imagined a satirical world where women fight for their right to have a seat at the table and actively beat men off so they can follow their dreams… only to be thwarted when someone unexpected waltzes in and rips up all your plans; finds a crack in your facade and singular focus to make your heart explode. Love derails us all!”
Added the director: “Virginia wrote a rom-com, and I’m thrilled to bring it to the screen because women still need to decide between ambition and love… but can love ever allow a woman to also be her best self. I believe so… and in a cynical world, this is the film we need. Hooray for love!”
Night and Day, which will go into production this summer, is produced by Waddell (Searching For Stradivari), Christopher Figg (Golda, Mandy, We Need To Talk About Kevin), Meg Thomson (Freud’s Last Session, Dot The I, Racing Hearts), Katie Holly (Mr. Malcolm’s List, Vita And Virginia, Love & Friendship), Evan Horan (About Joan, Oddity), Philipp Steffens (God You’re Such A Prick, Racing Hearts) And Julie Link (Misfit). Production companies include Asterisk Films, Piccadilly Pictures, Keeper Pictures, and GLISK with support from Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland.
“Tina Gharavi is an exciting filmmaker and we know she will deliver a contemporary energetic execution of Justine Waddell’s incredibly compelling, fresh and funny script,” said Maya Amsellem, WestEnd’s founder. “We are delighted to bring this female filmmaking team into our WeLove label. Woolf’s novel is as relevant today as it ever was.”
Woolf is considered one of the most important 20th century modernist authors. Her novels have been translated into over 50 languages. Night and Day, one of her early novels, examines the relationships between love, marriage, happiness and success.
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